Archive for July 21st, 2011

21st July
written by amber

Cold Turkey

I’ve got the shakes. Goose bumps. I can’t stand looking at myself in the mirror – the black circles under my eyes and my gaunt cheeks make me look like a zombie.

I feel like a zombie. Shuffling around the house hungry for what I cannot have. I haven’t been out of my bathrobe for five days.

God, I hate Christmas. The carcass is still on the stove; dirty dishes form a  toxic pyramid in the sink. The dishwasher’s full but I haven’t run it yet. Don’t think I can take the racket.

It’ll be New Year’s soon. Tomorrow, I think. But I didn’t need to wait until then to make some resolutions. Probably for the rest of my life I’ll consider Dec. 25, 2007 to be my last nice day.

It was nice. I had the turkey in the oven when Ray dropped by to bring me a gift. I gave him his, we shared a companionable hug, two adults behaving in a civilized manner, no hard feelings for the way it all turned out. The kids arrived after he left, and maybe they were a little surprised to see me with a big glass of wine so early in the day, but it had cost me a lot to pretend to be so civilized.

But we had fun, playing card games while dinner cooked. They helped me set the table. Perhaps I was having a little too much fun, but what the hey, it was Christmas. Dropping the bowl of mashed potatoes – that could happen to anyone. Sarah didn’t have to make that comment.

It became a blur after that. I do recall playing Twister with the grandkids while Sarah and Becky did the dishes. The kids got over-excited. There were some tears. Ray Jr. suggested that I lie down for a while.

But I guess I didn’t stay down, if the video footage on Ray Jr.’s phone isn’t some kind of cruel trick. Well, it is cruel. Who takes pictures like that of their mother? And then leaves the phone behind so she can see it when the hangover wears off?

Hangover, two days. Hair of the dog, another day. Then the mother of all hangovers, looking at the pictures again and again in the light of increasingly painful sobriety. Decision to go cold turkey. All the booze left in the house down the drain.

Now all I have to do is slink out of town so I never have to look any of them in the face ever again.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

My apologies to my readers! We are so busy at the Black Cat Guest Ranch these days, I wasn’t even aware that it was Thursday. So instead of writing a Jessie and Jonah story, I was inspired to write this one by Amanda and Christine of Inroads Mountain Sports, after a discussion of the etymology of ‘cold turkey.’ Tomorrow I’ll post the latest Jessie and Jonah story.